The day where your customers will be able to purchase products directly from your Instagram feed, just got a lot closer.
The news broke late last week that Instagram is reportedly working on a separate ecommerce app, called “IG Shopping”. The release of the app will let users browse their favorite products from brands they already follow, with the biggest game changer being that users will now be able to purchase directly within the app.
Last August, Ashley Chapman, head of Instagrams fashion and entertainment department, hinted at the possibility of a big move into ecommerce when she told Inc Magazine that it planned to “expand its shopping team” that is based in New York City.
Shopping via Instagram isn’t however, and entirely new concept. Just this March, Instagram officially launched shoppable posts in 11 countries, which now allows brands to tag products in a single post, and with three clicks, a user can now go from their feed, to the “add to cart” section on a brands website. In addition to this, Instagram also added tools that allow brands to incorporate “Shop Now” and “Reserve” buttons on to their profile, as well as rolling out shopping stickers for brands to use in stories. With all that being said, an app that allows users to make a complete transaction without ever having to visit an external website is an entirely new concept, and will ultimately be a gamechanger for small ecommerce brands that have steadily built an audience on the platform over the past number of years.
At a recent earnings call, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg announced that more than 25 million businesses now have Instagram accounts, and launching a standalone app would naturally suggest that Instagram is planning their big move into the growing 3 billion dollar e-commerce market. According to Facebook, more than 200 million people look at the Instagram feeds of one or more brands a day. Sixty percent of those people say they regularly discover new products on Instagram.
However, a standalone app may only be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Instagram’s big play in the ecom industry. Insiders predict that Facebook may already be creating more tools for online merchants who are actively building their business through Instagram, thus taking on large ecommerce platforms such as Shopify.
It’s also worth noting that Shopping would not be the first Instagram feature that they have spun off into an individual standalone application. Just this June Instagram introduced IGTV, a competitor to YouTube and an app that allows users to record long form, vertical video.
Let’s us know your thoughts on this, and the implications “IG Shopping” may have for your business.